2021 OHSAA Tournament: Division III State Final - No. 12 CHCA VS No. 22 Archbold


Dylan Hefflinger and Bruce Hefflinger
PBR Ohio Editor in Chief/NW Scout and Senior Writer

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2021 OHSAA TOURNAMENT: DIVISION III STATE FINAL - NO. 12 CHCA VS NO. 22 Archbold

AKRON - For the first time in school history Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy is state champion. Cooper Robinson threw a two-hitter and the Eagles tallied four runs in the second inning to beat Archbold 4-1 in the Division III title game on Sunday.

Robinson fanned 11 and walked just one in the victory, capping it off by striking out the side in the seventh.

“His command was on,” pointed out CHCA head coach Tony Schulz. “The ability to have that kind of velo and that kind of control is something special.”

Robinson topped out at 89 on the radar, mixing in offspeed that gave Archbold trouble throughout.

“My fastball was working and my slider was my best pitch,” explained a jubilant Robinson, who only allowed four Archbold batters to reach base in the contest.

While the CHCA junior right-hander was on his game, Archbold’s DJ Newman might have been the winning pitcher if not for the four-run second.

Walks started the uprising and errors contributed with the biggest hit of the game coming in between when Colin Ames launched a double to the base of the left-center field fence to plate Johnathan Russell and Andrew Brock who reached via free passes, the only two of the game by Newman.

“I talked to coach and I was up in the box, I thought I might lay down a sac bunt to get a run in, but he goes get your pitch,” Ames said. “I got a fastball and hammered it to left.”

A failed squeeze nearly helped get Archbold out of the inning but a dropped ball on the rundown followed by a dropped fly in the outfield resulted in two more CHCA runs.

The Bluestreaks only run off Robinson came in the fifth on a pinch-hit double by Devon Morris to bring home Gavin Bailey who reached on a one-out walk.

Newman permitted just three hits with seven strikeouts after the second inning, but it was not enough for the 22nd-rated team in the state, which closes the year at 23-12.

Ames and Ty Yelton each had a pair of hits for the 12th-ranked Eagles, which ended the season with a 23-8 mark.

“The CHCA community is awesome,” Schulz concluded. “I couldn’t be more humbled, more honored to bring a state title back.” 

HOT TAKES

PLAYER OF THE GAME: Robinson, pitching in just his sixth game of the season due to an early-season back injury, showed his stuff early (two strikeouts in the first) and late (fanning the side in the seventh). The only hit other than the pinch-hit by Morris was a single up the middle by Zane Behnfeldt in the third. The Butler commit, who retired the final seven batters of the game, threw 69 of 99 pitches for strikes and did not allow a hit by the first seven in the Archbold batting order. 

D-III TOURNEY MVP: After picking up the win in a 7-1 victory over Barnesville in the state semifinals with five innings of four-hit one-run baseball, Ames came up huge with the bat in the title contest contributing the biggest hit of the game with the two-run double. The junior added a single and scored a run against Archbold.

KEY PLAY: With two runs already home in the second, CHCA went for the squeeze with runners on second and third and one away. Although the pitch was missed, failed execution came on the Archbold side when the throw to third was dropped allowing Ames to come home with the third run of the game. Another was added, which helped change late-game strategy had it been a tighter contest.

WHAT’S NEXT?: Archbold returns eight starters from the state final game, and also has back its top two pitchers in Newman and freshman Jayden Seiler, who was the winner in Friday’s semifinals against Canton Central Catholic. CHCA will likely enter the 2022 season as the team to beat in the state in D-III with only one senior in the starting lineup as well as the top four pitchers being underclassmen on the 2021 state champions.

LINESCORE

Archbold        000 010 0 - 1 2 2
CHCA              040 000 X  - 4 5 1

Records: CHCA 23-8, Archbold 23-12

Winning Pitcher: Cooper Robinson (7 innings, 1 run, 2 hits, 11 strikeouts, 1 walk).

Losing Pitcher: DJ Newman (6 innings, 4 runs, 2 ER, 5 hits, 8 strikeouts, 2 walks).

Leading Hitters: (Archbold) - Zane Behnfeldt single; Devon Morris double. (CHCA) - Johnathan Russell single; Colin Ames single, double; Ty Yelton 2 singles.

2021 SPRING HIGH SCHOOL SEASON CONTENT

To view all things related to the 2021 Spring High School Baseball Season, click here.

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